A Beaded Gown for a Nature Inspired Garden Wedding and Charming Village Hall Reception

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Happy Thursday lovelies, we’re creeping ever closer to the end of the week!  If you could do with a boost I have the most beautiful garden wedding to share with you today, inspired by nature and just so very pretty.

Meet Laura, a primary school teacher, and Nathan, a printer, who married on the 3rd of August 2017 at The Walled Garden at Cowdray in West Sussex followed by a reception at Duncton Village Hall.

“We love nature and wanted a very relaxed and informal day full of laughter.  There were lots of things which we knew we would like – wild flowers, afternoon tea, bunting- and these helped to shape our ideas for the overall style.  Once we knew that we were getting married in the garden there was a strong influence of vintage floral throughout. I have always wanted to get married outside.  When we went and visited The Walled Garden, even in the depths of winter we knew that the garden was going to be absolutely beautiful.  We share a love of nature and it just seemed right to get married here.”

Photography by Martin Davies

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“My ultimate ‘muse’ was a wedding featured on Love My Dress, entitled ‘Edwardian Lace and Pretty Flowers in Her Hair ~ A Charming English Country Garden Wedding’ from November 2012.  This is possibly the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen and I loved the details.”On her feet Laura wore the Mimosa shoe by  Rachel Simpson in a pale mint green, while for hair accessories she chose real flowers to compliment those in her bouquet.

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Laura chose Kitty-Boo Creative for make up and hair and opted for a pretty pink lipstick and a beautiful braided bun, which stood up to the garden breeze perfectly! For jewellery, she chose a beautiful bee necklace in rose gold by Alex Munroe, which was a wedding gift from Nathan.  She also wore a pair of rose gold pearl and crystal earrings by Katherine Swaine, via Notonthehighstreet.com.

“I was so happy to find Blossom and Bluebird on Etsy.  The veils were stunning- soft and romantic and Sian was amazing – she sent me samples and was incredibly attentive from start to finish.”

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Laura looked beautiful in Amal by Maggie Sottero which she purchased from Whyte Weddings in Worthing.

“I had a firm idea of what kind of dress I wanted- simple with lots of lace.  I picked a few out and then saw Amal hanging up.  The dress was a satin slip in champagne and then an ivory beaded tulle overlay and as soon as I pulled on the slip I fell in love with the shape and style.  The overlay was stunning, so detailed and pretty.”

“My mum and sisters knew this was the one too as I was beaming as I came out of the dressing room.  It was so different to what I had imagined wearing – heavily beaded and no lace to be seen – but I am so glad I tried it on.”

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The bridesmaids looked summery in floral maxi dresses from Monsoon, paired with jewelled sandals from New Look.

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Nathan wore blue trousers from Next, a teal striped shirt and orange knitted tie from M&S and a tweed waistcoat from weddingwaistcoat.co.uk, worn with shoes from Moss Bros and a selection of pewter animal pins from eBay.

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“My father and I travelled to the venue in a beautiful classic black and cream Riley RME 1953.”

Laura was accompanied down the aisle by her father to an instrumental version of ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri, played by string quartet Just Strings.

“We decided to try and write our own vows as we wanted to add something personal and meaningful to our promises.  One Sunday afternoon we sat down together outside in the sun and wrote our separate vows.  When we read them to each other it was an emotional moment.”

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“Our reading was ‘Rings’ by Carol Ann Duffy.  We both loved the nature imagery it contained.  My dear friend Emma read it on the day and the words sounded even more poignant in the context of the garden and because we had just exchanged rings in our ceremony.”

“Nathan chose a simple gold band from Whibleys in Worthing, the same jewellers he chose my engagement ring from.  My ring was the rose gold willow twig band from Alex Munroe.  I loved its textured detail and delicate simplicity.”

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“Our favourite part of the day was taking our vows, standing in a beautiful garden with all the people we love around us. It was very special.”

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“Our florist was Lauren from Flora and Nora Artisan Florists.  We wanted our flowers to be as natural as possible, with a mix of wildflowers including scabious and flowering mint, alongside wax flowers, pale roses and nigella.  Nathan really wanted feathers in his buttonhole and Lauren was able to put together all of our ideas.”

“We got all our cut flowers from Shelley at the Sussex Flower Farm and we met her to discuss what flowers we wanted and see them beginning to grow.  A favourite memory is Nathan and I picking unripe blackberries and cow parsley to use alongside the cut flowers, and then sitting around my sister’s kitchen table with my mum, sisters and nieces arranging the flowers into jars and singing along with the radio.”

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“Nathan proposed in September 2015.  We were taking our dog on one of our favourite woodland walks and the next thing I knew Nathan had pulled out a ring box and was asking me to marry him.  It was perfect.”

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Trestle tables and folding chairs for the village hall were hired from Tents N Events and most of the decor was Laura’s own work, while Nathan made all the games, signs and plant boxes.

“I sewed meters of bunting for both inside and outside the village hall, sourced old metal watering cans, ladders, crates and lots of vintage doilies, and glass posy vases. We added meters of fairy lights, draped voile and tree trunk slices and my mum lent me a beautiful white crocheted table cloth for our cake table.”

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“I made mini fabric bunting for the back of each chair, and also created round clay disks imprinted with leaves and flowers to go with the place name cards (designed by my sister in law Clair, alongside all the other stationery).  The floral and patterned vintage fabric napkins were provided by a company called Quirky Covers.”

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Duncton Village Hall was close to The Walled Garden and the views of the South Downs were stunning.  It was a blank canvas with lots of potential and we liked the idea of making it our own.”

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“The catering company we chose was called Jam and Tea, run by an amazing lady called Maryanne.”

“As well as the food, she provided all the vintage tableware, crockery and cutlery and we were bowled over by how much time, love and effort she put into our wedding.”

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Favours were packets of charity wildflower seeds for bees from Wildflower Favours, raising money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

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“We hired The Great Mobile Bar Company to supply all our drinks.”

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The beautiful carrot cake was also the work of Jam and Tea, finished with a topper from The Letter Loft.

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“My nephew Tom is very talented with a pack of cards and so during the reception he went around entertaining our guests with his amazing tricks.  We also hired a photo booth in the style of a London taxi from Photo Booth Boutique.”

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“Our evening entertainment was a band called Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes.  Nathan had seen them play at a friend’s birthday party and they were brilliant.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Remember that your day is a reflection of you as a couple, and your lives together.  It is easy to fall into the trap of doing what you think is expected of you and trying to ‘put on a show’.”

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  You have visions of yourself gliding up the aisle, your hair, dress and makeup perfect.  In reality it was incredibly windy, my hair and veil were blowing around all over the place and my shoes were full of gravel from the path, but it was all wonderful and it didn’t matter.

“I do feel that taking part in an engagement photoshoot would have been a good idea.  Your wedding day is one of those days when you have to pose for photos. This sometimes felt awkward so an engagement shoot would have been useful.”

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I just adore this gorgeous day.  Huge thanks to Laura and Nathan for sharing it with us.

If a garden wedding or village hall reception is just up your street then you’re in luck- we have some wonderful inspiration to share with you here and here.

Much love,

S x

Credits & Thanks


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

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